I’m going to skip the pictures of the tree and presents because honestly, that isn’t truly the delight of the season. Being with family is what is wonderful. Christmas is just an excuse for getting together with those you love. I want to highlight my favorite moments of my holiday break.
A Trip to the City
I was treated to a day in the great city of Chicago during the holiday season. It was a pleasantly yet unusually warm December day. My family and some family friends enjoyed some quality time and walked around Chicago.
My sister, Rachel, and I took a lot of silly selfies on the way there.
Driving in Chicago is… scary. I was just a passenger during this trip. After I safely got out of the car, I firmly made up my mind to never drive in Chicago. I’m way to chicken for it. If you have driven for a while, you know there are many different “types” of driving. “City driving” is crazy. Yeesh.
I happily lept out of the car and was ready to go exploring. We walked around scoping out the area to find the perfect background for our Christmas card. Chicago is a beautiful city (and so clean!) so it wasn’t too hard to find a venue for our photoshoot.
Our ultimate goal for the trip was to go to the Christkindl Market. The Christkindl Market is a German-American market in the heart of downtown Chicago that offers a taste of Germany during the holidays. It has food, shopping, and so much more. I have never been, so I was quite excited. This is a photo off the internet of the market:
See how crowded it is in that picture? Well, when we went, it was even more crowded. Once I walked into the market, I felt a sense of closure. We could barely walk in to enjoy what it had to offer. Being short, I couldn’t see a thing. What a bust. We left not knowing what to do next.
They decided to go to a Mediterranean grill called Roti. I was incredibly nervous, but I was not going to let my ED spoil a wonderful day out with my family and friends. I never been to Roti until now. It was amazing!
It is like a Mediterranean “Chipotle”. You get to choose if you want a pita, salad, bowl, etc. Then you fill it with what ever you want. I chose a chicken kabob salad with couscous, vegetable slaw, and a cucumber sauce drizzled over it. I got a little pita to go with it to.
After refueling we went to other places and had a grand time. I couldn’t have asked for a more lovely day. Though I was exhausted afterwards, it was well worth it.
I had two Christmases. Christmas Eve with my mom and Christmas Day with my dad. I am not one for Christmas festivities or the day itself. For some reason, it is hard for me to get into the “holiday spirit”.
On Christmas Eve, my wonderful mother gave me a wonderful book, What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey. If you all don’t know, I love Oprah. This book was incredibly insightful. It was just a series of little “nuggets of truth” from Oprah herself. She has a way with words, let me tell you. I couldn’t put the book down. I read it within one day.
My favorite Christmas moment was snuggling with my four year old cousin, Corinne. It was such a special moment. Just laying down and unwinding for a little while with my little cuddle bug. (She was exhausted from playing with all her new toys, and I was tired from just playing with her! 🙂 )
After the hustle and bustle of the holidays were over, I was ready to just start getting into “normalcy” again. I was very thankful that my mom had a couple days off to spend with my sister and I. I consider that my favorite gift of Christmas- spending quality time with Momma and Rachel.
The Sunday after Christmas, we decided to use some of our gift cards and go return some items from Christmas. Our plan was just to have fun, be together, and shop. Before we left I wanted to look more “put together”. So I donned on a cute outfit and put some makeup on! Red lips are my favorite right now.
It was great to talk and walk around with two of my favorite people. We went to Ulta, Kohls, and a local mall. I got a couple of items.. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, an Anastasia Brow Kit, and a NYX highlight. My AP English class will be reading Then There Were None so I thought I should get my own copy, and really, you can never have too many books!
Volunteering at Feed My Starving Children
One beautiful thing about my school is that they require us to have a certain amount of service hours to graduate. I have volunteered quite a bit before high school, but the frequency has drastically changed since then. Now, I volunteer as much as I can. I volunteer at the hospital every summer, I am a member of the service club at school, etc.
For the last day of 2014, I went with some people from my club to Feed My Starving Children. FMSC is a wonderful Christian organization that packages nutrient rich food to give to children in impoverished areas.
Volunteers go to one of their many facilities and package food to different areas of the world. My group’s meals were going straight to Haiti. This was my third time going, and let me tell you, I have a blast every time I go there. Not only is it kinda fun, but you know you are doing something that helps others.
I went with my teacher, a dear friend, and Rachel.
Every volunteer must wear a hair net. I say we rocked them as much as anyone can. 😉
This time, we packaged the Manna Rice meals. They look like this.
Each MannaPack is packed with vitamins, veggies, soy, rice, and well, love. 🙂 The whole team packed about 4,000 of these bags in an hour and a half! Many hands get plenty done! It was such a great way to end the year.
Recovery Win- Ben and Jerry’s
I have fought all year long against ED. There have been wonderful strides and there have also been deep lows. I was determined to challenge myself and have half a Ben and Jerry’s pint.
I was anxious and scared waiting to eat the pint, but once I took the first taste… I was in heaven. I chose the Volun-Tiramisu flavor. It is exclusive at Target, so if you want this flavor (which I highly suggest!!) you must go to Target.
It was a mascarpone-flavored ice cream with a hint of coffee. Throughout the pint were coffee soaked, yet still slight crunchy, ladyfinger pieces. If you like tiramisu, you would LOVE this pint. I know I did.
Yes, it was nerve-wracking. Yes, it was challenging. Yes, it was worth it. I am still here! I’m alive and well with no damage done. This truly was a great Herculean task in my recovery. I am so proud to say, I conquered it and I loved it. If you are going through an eating disorder or any struggle for that matter, do not let it define you. You are more than what your struggles are. You are God’s child that can overcome even the hardest battles.
Tomorrow is the first day of school after winter break. *deep breath* I only have one semester left of high school! Aah! Where does time go?
Here’s to a prosperous and healthy 2015!